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‘It’s just old age’

July 6, 2016

There are many things that we see as normal in the ageing process of our pets. However there are also many age-related illnesses that cause pain and discomfort for our pets.

Decreased hearing and sight are commonly due to a normal ageing process. However cataracts and ear infections can also lead to these signs.

A slow decrease in activity and mobility can be a normal ageing process, but commonly osteoarthritis affects our aged pets. This can be managed to make our pets more comfortable.

Often our older pets increase in weight as their calorie demand decreases and we continue to feed them the same amount. This puts an increased strain on joints increasing any arthritis pain. It can also put pressure on ageing internal organs.

In contrast, some older pets lose weight. There are many problems that can cause weight loss and it is advisable to investigate these further, as there are many conditions we can treat and manage.

Often our older pets have dental disease which we know causes pain and discomfort. The common misconception is that they are eating, so they mustn’t have any dental issues. This is incorrect, as our pets are very good at covering up until the pain is intolerable. With modern anaesthetics and monitoring equipment, treating your aged pets for dental disease is highly recommended.

Loss of normal house training, or urinary incontinence can occur with both medical conditions or with cognitive changes (senile changes) and needs vet assessment to differentiate between the two.

These are only a few of the changes we see with an ageing pets. Please be aware the earlier that we diagnose these problems, the more options we have to make our pets more comfortable in their twilight years.